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Can an employer discipline an employee who has resigned?

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It is often heard that employers have issues around employees who resign. It reminds of the Labour Court case – Lottering and Others v Stellenbosch Municipality,(C159/2010) [2010] ZALC 67; [2010] 12 BLLR 1306 (LC) ; (2010) 31 ILJ 2923 (LC) (7 May 2010), that deals with resignation.

Can an employee be disciplined after his resignation?

How do you deal with an employee who commits misconduct after he has resigned?

Just because an employee has resigned and is working out his notice period does not mean an employer cannot take disciplinary action against him should the employer need to. The employee is still employed until his notice period ends.

Therefore, if an employee commits misconduct during this period (or the employer becomes aware of misconduct), it can still discipline the employee.

If after disciplinary action has been taken against the employee and he is summarily dismissed before  his notice period ends, the employment relationship will terminate. This will be because the employer dismissed the employee for misconduct and not because he has resigned.

If the employer does not complete the disciplinary process before the end of the notice period, it cannot continue with disciplinary action as the employee is no longer an employee.